To judge, we have to do two things; We have to look at the facts rather than the opinions, and we have to consider our own body and health goals.
The most commonly consumed grains are wheat, rice and corn, and oats are pretty popular too.
Every staples like bread and pasta, breakfast cereals, and snacks likely contain some sort of grain, so since most people eat so much of them it’s probably a good idea to know whether they’re actually healthy or not.
Most people agree whole grains are more nutritious than refined – whole grain bread, rice and cereals being better than white bread and rice pops for breakfast.
But some people, the Paleo diet community in particular, insist that grains of any kind aren’t healthy for anyone, so let’s take a look at the facts:
Let’s not forget that absolutely all the various nutrients found in grains can be found elsewhere, if you so choose; namely plant foods such as legumes, nuts and seeds, fruit and vegetables, and even animal products.
Quinoa, often mistaken for being a grain, is in fact a seed, and a complete protein one at that (so great for vegetarians). Quinoa can be used instead of rice or couscous, or ground into flour and used in other ‘flour’ products like baked goods.
Buckwheat is another pseudograin which isn’t really a grain, but can be prepared and eaten like one.
Sprouted grains (grains soaked in water overnight to ‘sprout’), contrarily, are extremely digestible. They retain their natural enzymes needed to break them down in the gut, encourage the growth of ‘good’ bacteria (important for immunity and hut health), and retain many of the nutrients that would otherwise be lost in cooking and processing. Sprouting grains is a very effective way of getting the benefits since they become more bioavailable (easier to absorb), whilst reducing the possible negative effects of gluten, phytates and lectins.
And this is a big but. Many people eat grains such as bread every day and feel just fine. Would they feel better if they cut them out? Perhaps. But for their personal requirements, what they need to be, do and feel on a day to day basis, grains are causing them no obvious problems.
If you think you might benefit from cutting grains from your diet then this includes pasta, bread, pastries, desserts, rolls, crackers, wholegrains, and anything made from or including wheat, barley, oats, rice, rye, millet, and corn. These lists are not exhaustive but there are too many types to list here.